Volume 5, No. 3: Mar, 2004

    March 2004 | Volume No.5 | Issue No.3
    Inside This Issue

    Up in the air

    Councilman Eric Garcetti, 13th District, addresses the crowd in front of the Hudson Theater at the Media District's Theater Row kickoff celebration. New way-finding banners were hung to mark the area known as Theater Row. Photo Courtesy of Jacob's Well Public Relations.

    On Thursday, Feb. 12, the Hollywood Media District kicked off its Theater Row project with a celebration of the efforts to revitalize the cluster of small theaters on Santa Monica Boulevard. And while the new way-finding banner program is now up in the air over the sidewalks between Vine Street and Seward Street, plans for the future are anything but. Specific goals and priorities of Theater Row, and the boulevard itself, were outlined by speakers Doug Suisman, Suisman Urban Design (the Media District's urban planner) and Matt Chait, owner of the Complex Theaters and chairman of the Theater Row Committee.

    Short-term goals include continuing the clean and safe programs sponsored by the Media District, upgrading building facades, and working on shared parking resources to create more parking spaces.

    Looking ahead, there is an effort to underground the utilities on the boulevard and create even more parking spaces, possibly with the construction of a parking garage. The Media District hopes to attract restaurants and retail in the area to create a thriving, pedestrian-friendly destination in the heart of the BID (Business Improvement District.)

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    BID Renewal Update

    Fine-tuning the proposed new Management Plan for the next 5 years of the BID, steering committee members asked Brad Segal, the renewal consultant, to further reduce assessments for stakeholders. By expanding the boundaries of the BID, there will be savings realized in administration and supervision.

    Additionally the committee reduced the community improvement budget to help bring down the assessments. The committee has agreed to continue the same level of clean and safe services for the renewal period.

    The committee will meet again on March 10. Please call Executive Director Mary Lou Dudas if you have any questions or concerns.

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    Honda of Hollywood: An old star gets a facelift

    Honda of Hollywood, located on the corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and Wilcox in the "heart of Theater Row" recently reopened their showroom after an exterior and interior overhaul. Photo by Devin Strecker

    After weeks of construction, Honda of Hollywood moved back into their newly remodeled showroom on February 23. With the exterior nearly completed, construction will now begin on the parts and services areas, as well as improvements on the sales lot. The entire facelift should be complete by this summer.

    Why the change? "Honda requires all dealerships to remodel and the design of the interior and exterior is their new corporate image," Don Robertson, co-owner, said. "They want all Honda dealers to look the same."

    Robertson, who is also a member of the Media District's Board of Directors, says he is looking forward to completion of the project. "(I think it will be) a nicer environment for my employees and customers which will lead to increased sales."

    Robertson says it was difficult working with the construction mess and using temporary facilities. Although sales were negatively affected by the construction, they have been climbing back up now that the showroom is reopened.

    In addition to the remodeling, Honda of Hollywood is also happy about the new Theater Row banner program installed by the BID. "The theater row banners look great. We are looking into using 'in the heart of theater row' as one way of identifying our location in our advertisements," Robertson said.

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    Media District Briefs

    - Hollywood Media District has been in the news! Both the LA Times and the Hollywood Independent recently ran articles on the Theater Row kickoff ceremony, both of which included pictures of the new banners on Santa Monica Blvd. (see story on page 1) Backstage West also ran a story on Theater Row before the event.

    - On Feb. 25, the BID submitted a grant application to the Mayor's Housing and Business Team. If won, the grant will help the BID create new job positions in the district by encouraging businesses to locate here. Funding received would be used to increase parking and enhance the sidewalks and streets.

    - The new Target store, in the West Hollywood Gateway Project on the corner of Santa Monica and La Brea is set to open on Sunday, March 7. The new development, which includes retail and restaurants, is expected to have some impact on the Media District, but a representative from developers was a presenter at a recent Business Watch meeting where concerned business owners asked questions about the project.

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    Garamendi speaks on Workers Comp

    February's "Let's Do Lunch," a monthly luncheon sponsored by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, featured guest speaker John Garamendi, California State Insurance Commissioner. Garamendi spoke about workers comp issues that affect Hollywood as well as the rest of the state, and discussed his proposal to dramatically reform California's Workers Compensation System.

    The Garamendi plan consists of: simplification of permanent disability rating system for injured employees; subjecting uninsured employers to felony charges instead of misdemeanors (as the current law allows); requiring employers to pay benefits immediately to workers injured on the job; allowing employers to dispute workers' claims for up to one year instead of 90 days (as the law now mandates); independent medical examiners [and not the employees' personal physicians] to determine the extent of employees' injuries and the treatments they should receive, if any; and, the addition of new State Fund Board Members, a change that Commissioner Garamendi believes would result in a 30-percent drop in workers' compensation rates over the next six months.

    For more information, call 1-800-927-HELP.

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    HMD Calendar

    HMD Board Meeting
    When: Thursday, March 18
    Time: 4:00 pm
    Where: CFI, 959 Seward St.
    Call 323-460-4770 for details

    Renewal & Expansion Steering Meeting
    When: Wednesday, March 10
    Time: 8:30 am
    Where: CFI, 959 Seward St.
    Call 323-460-4770 to RSVP

    Business Watch Meeting
    When: Thursday, March 11
    Time: 12:00 pm
    Where: Hollywood Community Room
    6501 Fountain Ave. (At Wilcox)
    Call 323-460-4770 to RSVP for lunch

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    Your consent is necessary to obliterate graffiti at your site. The Hollywood Beautification Team, through the city, will assist in the acquisition of free paint for your property or paint out graffiti using your paint.

    Please make sure that your business or property has a signed Agreement on file. For more information or an Agreement, please contact Devin at 323.460.4770.

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    Activities Report - Year in review

    Incident Types Feb 2004 Year to date
    Calls for Service 46 96
    Officer Observations 330 653
    Arrests 9 19
    Aggressive Panhandlers 13 27
    Alcohol/Narcotics Related 23 40
    Bus Stop Checks 54 218
    Illegal Lodging/Encampments 47 103
    Location/Hot Spot Checks 2076 4428
    Loitering/Trespassing 174 375
    Merchant Contacts 78 184

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    Questions or Comments

    Feel free to contact the Hollywood Media District using the following contact information:

    Hollywood Media District
    1304 North Highland Avenue #200
    Hollywood, CA 90028
    Phone:  323.460.6322
    Fax:  323.460.6488

    Executive Director: Mary Lou Dudas

    Assistant: Devin Strecker

    Hollywood Media District Field Office
    6775 Santa Monica Blvd. #2A
    Hollywood, CA 90038
    Phone:  323.871.4150
    Hours:  7am - 12am, Mon-Sat

    Hollywood Beautification Team
    6775 Santa Monica Blvd. #2A
    Phone:  Phone 323-463-5180
    Hours:  7am - 4pm, Mon-Sun

    Security Supervisor: Ken Nakano

    Hollywood Media District Property Owners
    Association Board of Directors

    Carol Cassella, President - RenMar Studios
    Jeff Anthony, Vice-President - Iron Mountain Film & Sound
    Larry Curtis, Secretary - Consolidated Film Industries
    Jack Fleming, Treasurer - Advanced Digital Services
    Fred Anawalt - Anawalt Lumber Company
    Morton Lakretz - The Crossroads
    Tim Mahoney - Hollywood Center Studios
    Michael Malick - Marcus & Millichap
    Jacques Massachi - Ori Service Center
    Albert Sweet - Al Sweet Development
    Gene La Pietra - Arena Cafe
    Ana Ramirez - Television Center
    Don Robertson - Honda of Hollywood
    Brian Scane - The Paladin Group, Inc.
    Ron Stein - Crest NationalFilm & Video
    Eliza Thorne - Seward Film Vaults
    Ferris Wehbe - Hollywood Little Red School

    Names and Numbers

    Hollywood Area Police Station: 213-485-4302
    Hollywood Community Relations: 213-485-4310
    LA Fire Department Emergency: 911
    Damaged Parking Meters: 877-215-3958
    Lot Cleaning: 800-996-2489
    Department of Transportation: 213-485-2489
    Bulky Item Pick Up (Residents Only): 800-773-3326
    Animal Regulation: 888-452-7381
    Building and Safety: 213-977-6966
    Potholes, Curb, Street Damage BSM: 800-996-2489

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